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From June 1-4 2010, the Universidad Católica de Santa María and LACCEI will hold the UNESCO’s Workshop Active Learning Workshop in Optics and Photonics in Arequipa, Peru.

Through the Active Learning Workshop in Optics and Photonics leatrproject, UNESCO organizes workshops directed toward workshop instructors in developing countries and designed to promote creativity and innovation in the teaching of optics. The Active Learning Workshop in Optics and Photonics project utilizes a new pedagogical method, active learning, which has yielded excellent results in the teaching of general physics and optics. It consists of guiding the student along a self learning path based on experiments and carefully designed exercises. The program requires only very simple and easily reproducible equipment.
Participants work in groups in discussion and in the exchange of ideas, following instructions and questions in the program manual that facilitate their comprehension of the phenomena they observe.

The workshop instructors act only as facilitators of the learning, with directed activities replacing the traditional lecture-based approach.

The workshop is designed for high-school teachers and teachers of lower-division university courses coming from different countries in Latin America. Participants are expected to employ the method in their teaching and to contribute to the organization of new workshops for which they act as facilitators.
Participants must apply to attend since seating is limited to 40 students. Once accepted, participants should register for the LACCEI conference in order to attend. Registration fees include lunches, materials and a Gala dinner. Participants will receive workshop manuals in English or in Spanish, and a certificate for completing the workshop. Ten kits of lenses and other equipment used in the Workshop will be donated to some of the home institutions of the participants.
There are registration grants available from LACCEI for participants associated with LACCEI Member Institutions, from the Department of State for teachers from American Schools. Registration fees are waived for Peruvian Secondary School Teachers who have been accepted. Applicants will be notified of their selection and any grants awarded as soon as possible.

Alop Sao Paulo 2007

Alop Bogota 2009

Alop Chile 2010


Local organizing commitee

Dr. Cesar Baluarte Araya
+5154 959395206

Ing. Darwin Álvarez Flórez
+5154 959366780

Ing. Alfredo Guzmán Valdivia

Ing. José Portugal Salinas
+5154 959950598

Ing. Rebeca Linares Guillen
+5154 958414026

Lic. Mario Pumacallahui Pineda
+5154 959185882

Lic. Juan Ramon Díaz Pizarro
+5154 959950455

Carlos Fernando Ochoa Gorvenia
+5154 958341547

Team of UNESCO facilitators
Prof. Angela GUZMAN

Worshop Director.

Physics Department, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, USA.

Angela Guzman
Angela M. Guzmán joined the Physics Department of Florida Atlantic University in 2007. She is Professor Emeritus of the National University of Colombia, where she obtained her B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees in Physics, and worked for over 25years. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich for research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, and did her post-doctoral work at the Optical Sciences Center of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA. In 1988, as a young scientist, she was awarded the Colombian “Third World Academy of Science” Prize. In 1989 she was appointed Regular Associate Member of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy. She is the recipient of the 1992-93 “Sarwar Razmi” Prize of the ICTP. In 1998 she was elected a member of the Colombian Academy of Science, and became Senior Associate of the ICTP. Currently she chairs the Advisory Group for the Trieste System on Optical Sciences and Applications (TSOSA). Prof. Guzmán Chaired the International Council of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and served as a Member of that Society’s Board of Directors during the period 2003-2004. From 2005 to 2008 she served as a Vice President of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and Member of the ICO Bureau. In 2007 she was made an OSA Fellow for her contributions to quantum and atom optics and to the promotion of optics in developing countries. She is currently the ICO Secretary General, serving until 2011; a part of her duties is to serve as the editor of the ICO Newsletter.

She attended her first ALOP Workshop in 2007, served as assistant facilitator in 2009 for ALOP-Bogota and as director of ALOP-Chile. She is in charge of coordinating ALOP Workshops in Latin America.

Prof. David R. SOKOLOFF

Department of Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA


David Sokoloff is Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon. He earned his BA in Physics at Queens College of the City University of New York in 1966, and his Ph.D. in AMO Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972 under Ali Javan. For over two decades, he has studied students' conceptual understandings, and developed active learning approaches (with NSF and U.S. Department of Education, FIPSE support) including the four modules of RealTime Physics: Active Learning Laboratories (RTP) and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs), (both developed with Ronald Thornton and Priscilla Laws and published by John Wiley and Sons). He has conducted numerous international, national and local institutes and workshops to disseminate these active learning approaches. Since 1999, he has been part of a UNESCO team presenting active learning workshops in developing countries, such as Active Learning in Optics and Photonics.. He is the editor of the Training Manual for the ALOP workshop that has been presented in Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco, India, Tanzania, Brazil, Mexico, Zambia, Cameroon, Colombia and Chile. The American Physical Society awarded him its 2010 Excellence in Physics Education Award (with Priscilla Laws and Ronald Thornton), and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) awarded him the 2007 Robert A. Millikan award  for “notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics.” He is currently the AAPT President Elect, and will assume the role of President in 2011.


Universidad de Guanajuato, México
Miguel Torres.jpg

Miguel Torres Cisneros obtained his Engineering Degree in Electronics at the Universidad de Guanajuato in 1988, his M. Sc. degree from the Centro de Investigaciones en Óptica (CIO) in 1991 and his Ph. D.cum Laude in Sciences from  the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) in 1997,  He has been visiting research scientist in Dayton University (2002) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 2009.  He has been professor at the Tech. of Monterrey and the Universidad de las Américas, and Titular Researcher at the Universidad de Guanajuato since 14 years, where he is involved with the NanoBioPhotonics Group, the Patents Group, and the Design and Manufacture Cell, Electronics & Mechatronics Programs.  He has published over hundred scientific papers and holds 2 patents. He holds the status of  National Researcher (SNI) in Mexico since 1992, and obtained recognition as outstanding professor PROMEP since1999. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences since 2006. He attended the ALOP Workshop in Mexico in 2007, served as assistant facilitator in 2009 in ALOP-Bogota and as facilitator in ALOP-Chile.


Prof. Graciela PUNTE

Departamento de Física, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina

Graciela Punte was born in Buenos Aires Argentina. She obtained the PhD in Physics from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), Argentina, where she is Professor of Physics at the Physics Department. She is Senior Researcher of the Argentinean National Research Council, CONICET, Head of the X-ray Diffraction National Facility, LANADI (UNLP). She has been Vice President of the Argentina Crystallographic, Association (2004-2008), and a Member of the Structural Chemistry, Commission, IUCr (1996-2005). Currently she is the director of the research group on New technologies and Science Education of the Engineering Faculty of the UNLP, group that she help to create in 1994. She has organized several workshops based on active learning in Argentina and joined the ALOP team for Latin America this year in Chile.

Other members of the UNESCO ALOP Team for Latin America


The ALOP Workshop consists of 6 modules:
1. Geometrical Optics: Rectilinear Propagation of Light, Reflection and Refraction
2. Lenses and Optics of the Eye
3. Interference and Diffraction
4. Atmospheric Optics
5. Optical Data Transmission
6. Wavelength Division Multiplexing

Participants in the workshop are invitated to attend the LACCEI conference reception on Tuesday June 1 and the gala dinner of the conference on Thursday June 3

During the closing ceremony participants will receive a certificate of attendance, and 10 sets of equipment will be donated to some of the institutions of the participants attending the workshop.

Click here to see the list of participants ALOP 2010

Download here the detailed programn


Active leaning strategies were introduced in the January 1999 ASPEN workshop by David Sokoloff (University of Oregon), Priscilla Laws (Dickinson College),and Ronald Thornton (Tufts University). The introduction of active learning in physics in developing countries is specially encouraged by UNESCO because it fosters hands-on laboratory work, promotes conceptual learning, and encourages instructors to do research in physics education that may lead to a significant improvement in their students' learning.

Since 2003 ALOP-UNESCO workshops have been conducted in different countries in Africa and Latin America with extremely positive results. The ALOP project centers on experimental optics, an enabling science that is relevant and adaptable to the research and educational conditions of many developing countries. The international team that developed the modules, the hands-on activities, and the ALOP Manual consists of the following members:  Zohra Ben Lakhdar (Université El Manar, Tunisie), Ivan B. Culaba (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines), Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan (University of Waterloo, Canada), Joel T. Maquiling (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines), Alex Mazzolini (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), and David R. Sokoloff (University of Oregon, USA). The activities use simple and inexpensive materials that can be fabricated locally, in order to spread the learning methodology to local educational institutions in a self-sustained manner. The project has been supported by the Abdus Salam  International Centre  of Theoretical Physics and by the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) since its inception.
In addition to giving training to teachers, these workshops have produced new generations of facilitators who are native speakers of French and Spanish and who have collaborated in the translation of the ALOP Manual into those languages.  After holding several Workshops in Africa and three in Latin America in English, UNESCO has created two off-spring teams entitled to act as facilitators of ALOP Workshops in Africa and Latin America in French and Spanish respectively. 
Former ALOP Workshops held in Latin America are:

  1. Active Learning in Optics and Photonics, Faculdade de Educacion, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 22- 27 de 2007
  2. Active Learning in Optics and Photonics, Universidad Autónoma San Luis Potosí, San Luis de Potosi, México, December 6- 11 de 2007
  3. Active Learning in Optics and Photonics, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia, July 23-27, 2009.
  4.  Taller de aprendizaje activo de Óptica y Fotónica, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile, January 11-15, 2010.

ALOP-Perú will be the second Workshop in Latin America to be held in Spanish.

Other links of interest


Workshop Chair: 
Dr. Angela Guzman
Florida Atlantic University, USA

Download Partipant information

Apply for the UNESCO's Workshop Active Learning in Optics and Photonics

Para español presione aqui

Type of Institution: University
Secondary school
LACCEI Member: Yes
Last Name:
First Name:
Professional Training: Bachelor's Degree in Education
Bachelor's Degree in Physics
Graduate Student
Ph. D.
Teaching experience in:
Physics 10-11 Grade
General Physics at University
Optical communications
Teaching experience: Less than 5 years
Between 5 and 10 years
More than 10 years
Does your institution have physics laboratory? Yes No
Does your institution have optics equipment? Yes No
Do you do laboratory sessions? Yes No
Do you prefer to receive the manual of the Active learning in optics and photonics in: English Spanish
Describe your experience in teaching optics in high school or university:
Reasons to participate in the workshop:
Are you applying for a registration grant? Yes No